What to See in Talampaya


Most people are content with a day trip to Ischiliguasto followed by a visit to the Paleontology Museum for a good dinosaur fix, but you may want to do some more exploring. The sister park which borders the top right hand corner of the Valley of the Moon, known as the Canyon of Talampaya (an Indian name meaning the dry river bed of the tala tree) is managed by the province of La Rioja. It is every bit as impressive, with weird and wonderful sunset-colored rock formations such as The Monk, The Cathedral and The Friar. However, the key attraction is the mysterious mural paintings made by pre-Colombian cultures at La Puerta: geometric figures and spirals as well as llamas, feet with six toes and strange winged creatures which the more far-fetched theories ascribe to extra-terrestrial encounters.


Thanks for Talampaya to Renton Z

Unlike Ischiliguasto, private vehicles are not allowed in the park, so you have to organize your trip from Villa La Unión, the nearest town some 60km away, with one of the tour companies authorized to enter the park.

Make sure you get there early, with your requisite sun block, hat and sunglasses, as the numbers of visitors to the park are strictly limited. If you’re feeling energetic, you can join a mountain bike tour for the circuit called La Catedral which lasts three and a half hours or visit the Quebrada Don Eduardo on foot – contact sergiolei_guiatur@hotmail.com in advance to set it up.

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